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Monday, August 8, 2011

Welcome Cathy Pegau

Once again I have the pleasure of introducing you to a debut author. Please say hello and welcome to Cathy Pegau, author of Rulebreaker. I discovered Cathy by accident. I don't remember why I clicked on her blog but I know it was her dog, Holly who led me to her. I've been following Cathy ever since. (Obviously, the best way to get me to follow you is to talk about your dog.)

When Cathy asked me what she should write about, I suggested her call story--cuz really--who doesn't love call stories? And here it is. Be sure to leave a comment and be in the running for a copy of her book, Rulebreaker.


Rulebreaker: From Idea to Offer

One of the questions a writer is often asked is “Where do you get your ideas?’ For me, they come from places like commercials, news stories, and my wee brain. Yep, sometimes story ideas just pop in there, and I have to jot them down or lose them to the flotsam and jetsam swirling around in my head.

While working on a paranormal women’s fiction (based on a commercial image), the idea for Rulebreaker took hold: A thief on a backwater planet who falls for the woman she is supposed to steal from. Science fiction romance with two women. Not my typical genre. Not a typical story one sees from “traditional” publishers.

F/F was (and is) a niche market, to say the least, and SFR was growing stronger each day, but neither were as popular as other couplings or speculative fiction markets. Was I crazy to combine two of the toughest genres out there? Maybe, but this was the story I wanted to write. These were characters I wanted to get to know and share with others. My stubborn writerly self said to worry about the market later. 

So I wrote Rulebreaker, and in the winter/spring of 2010, I was ready to start *gulp* submitting. Researching the F/F SFR market didn’t take long. Getting the courage to approach the publishers did. So many good books were coming out in my tiny field of choice. What chance did I have? I loved my story, loved Liv and Zia. But would anyone else?

Then in May 2010, Savvy Authors ran a pitch contest judged by Carina Press editors. Having read Carina’s submission guidelines and “what we’re looking for” posts, I felt Rulebreaker would fit in with their philosophy “Where no great story goes untold.” I entered the contest, figuring I had nothing to lose.

Lo and behold, one of the editors requested the full manuscript. Shocked does not describe how I felt. Elated comes close. I sent off the manuscript and a month later the editor replied with a Revise and Resubmit letter. Not an offer, she was quick to explain, but if I was willing to look at certain things in the book, tweak bits here and there, I could resubmit. What I remember most, however, was that overall she really liked my story. She. Liked. My. Story.

To have someone other than your critique partners (fab as they are) say that, someone who has no stake in your feelings, someone in the field you wish to join, is like having the clouds part and sunshine stream on puppies and unicorns sliding down rainbows. Yeah, it was THAT good.

I revised and reworked chapters, cut bits, expanded others, made sure what I’d changed flowed and made sense. In September 2010, after getting the nod from my crit partners, I resubbed and settled in for a nervous wait.

Two months later, while I was dealing with a difficult personal situation, I received The Email from Angela James. An offer. On a book I’d written. On a book that I had braced myself for a string of “no thank yous” because it was SFR and not a typical SFR. I laughed. I cried. I was grateful Angela had sent an email and hadn’t called, because I would have been a blubbering mess on the phone.

There have been some bumps since I signed the contract, but for the most part the experience has been amazing and positive. The old adage “Be careful what you wish for” is usually a warning about how things can go awry. For me, it’s more like, “Be careful what you wish for; it might turn out even better than you imagined.” 

Rulebreaker is available at CarinaPress, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Read an excerpt here

And the blurb, well, here:

Liv Braxton's Felon Rule #1: Don't get emotionally involved.

Smash-and-grab thieving doesn't lend itself to getting chummy with the victims, and Liv hasn't met anyone on the mining colony of Nevarro worth knowing, anyway. So it's easy to follow her Rules.

Until her ex, Tonio, shows up with an invitation to join him on the job of a lifetime.

Until Zia Talbot, the woman she's supposed to deceive, turns Liv's expectations upside down in a way no woman ever has.

Until corporate secrets turn deadly.

But to make things work with Zia, Liv has to do more than break her Rules, and the stakes are higher than just a broken heart…

Leave a comment and I’ll randomly choose someone to win a copy of Rulebreaker! This contest is open until midnight, Sunday, August 14th. Winner will be announced on Monday, August 15.

Thanks for having me over, Maria!


Sarita said...

Yours is a heartwarming story. I love hearing how people got the call, and how they reacted.

Wishing you the best with Rulebreaker. It sounds very interesting!

Cate Masters said...

I love that Rulebreaker is a rulebreaking story! Congrats on its release. Glad to hear that taking a chance paid off so well!

raelynbarclay said...

What a great call story! So glad taking the chance paid off :) Rulebreaker sounds fascinating. Congrats on its release and best of luck.

Angela Brown said...

I couldn't help grinning as I read your story. Thank you so much for sharing.

Rulebreaker sounds like an excellent read. I wish you much success on this and all other books you publish.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Cathy - Really delighted for you that things worked out for your "must tell" story. It sounds terrific.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Maria - Hi!

(Just haven't left you a comment in a while. *grin*)

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: Ah, so we meet again, Moriarty. Glad to see you're visiting again.

jackie b central texas said...

While I have to admit F/F stories are not my reading preference I wish you all the best Cathy as the story sounds solid and the fact your dream came true and "it turned out to be even better than you imagined" is very wonderful. Carry on and here is to the next book being published and the process going smoothly!

Maria only you would follow someone home to their blog because of the "dog", I usually follow them home because of the "cat" picture. Thanks for having Cathy over today, always nice to find a new to me author.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Cathy, it's brilliant to hear of a difficult to place story finding a home. That feeling -- euphoria -- after the email from Angela is unbelievable. Thanks for sharing your story, and Happy Release Day for Rulebreaker!

Michelle Fayard said...

Savvy Authors’ contests are the best, and I’m delighted your book, which sounds excellent, found its home thorough one of them. Congratulations, Cathy, on today being release day!

Abby Niles said...

Awesome Call story! Major congrats on your release!

Cathy in AK said...

Just popping in to say hello and thanks to Maria for having me. Between dogs and writing we seem to have found a few things to chat about now and again ;)

Thanks for the well wishes, everyone : )

Tuesday said...

I am super excited about reading it! I pre-ordered it and it "supposedly" downloaded today but my husband stole the Kindle for his plane trip and I won't get it back until Saturday! I am in agony! I'm wondering if this is some kind of sign....never get married? or, buy your own damn Kindle?

Mason Canyon said...

Great story. Just goes to show, life can be full of surprises. Entering the contest was definitely a good move. Wishing you much success.

Thoughts in Progress
Freelance Editing By Mason

Louisa Bacio said...

I had no idea you started this process at Savvy Authors! I love it there -- so inviting. Congrats on your sale, and for the success to come!

All the best!


Escape Artist said...

Loved the excerpt! Way to go Cathy!!

Cathy in AK said...

Thanks again for letting me crash your party, Maria!

The winner of a copy of Rulebreaker is....Abby Niles!Congrats, Abby! I'll be contacting you soon :)